Manchester City’s title defense suffers setback with draw vs. Liverpool
London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Defending champion Manchester City’s quest to retain the Barclays Premier League title suffered a huge setback when it settled for a 2-2 draw with Liverpool Sunday at Etihad Stadium.
The draw left Manchester City with nine points to climb to prevent fiercest rival Manchester United from snatching its title.
Despite the odds, City manager Roberto Mancini thinks the battle is not yet over, especially with 15 games left and United is scheduled to see action in the FA Cup and the Champions League.
“Last year we recovered eight points in six games so I don’t know why it can’t happen this year. We have 15 games and they [United] have to play in FA Cup and the Champions League so the season is long – three months – and we are confident,” Mancini explained.
Manchester City drew first blood when Edin Dzeko scored his 12th goal of the season in the 23rd minute.
Six minutes later, Daniel Sturridge tied the count with his fourth goal in six matches since moving from Chelsea.
Sturridge’s goal was the first score City goalkeeper Joe Hart had conceded since December 29, 584 minutes in all.
A Steven Gerrard volley put Liverpool ahead with 17 minutes left but Sergio Aguero salvaged a point with an amazing shot a narrow angle.
“It was an outstanding performance at a notoriously difficult place for teams to even score a goal,” Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers said. “What was important for me was to see the confidence of the players, the desire, the quality and the efficiency of their game.”
Meanwhile, Gareth Bale’s superb strike in the 67th minute earned Tottenham Hotspur a 1-0 victory over 10-man West Bromwich Albion at Hawthorns.
With the victory, the Spurs moved within one point of third-placed Chelsea in the standings.
Bale scored his 11th goal of the season to help Andre Villas-Boas’s team end a run of three successive draws.
Albion played the final 42 minutes with 10 men after defender Goran Popov was sent off for spitting in the direction of Spurs defender Kyle Walker.